CPD tips - Developing your emotional intelligence

CPD tips - Developing your emotional intelligence

13 Dec 2022

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Building stronger relationships, being able to influence others, becoming more innovative and increasing job satisfaction can all be achieved by improving your emotional intelligence. Many people think emotional intelligence is purely innate; however, just like intellectual intelligence, studies have shown that emotional intelligence can be learned and developed.

5 ways to improve your emotional intelligence

Here are our top five ways you can develop your emotional intelligence.

1. Work on your listening skills 

Listening is one of the foundational tools in your emotional arsenal. As well as fully understanding what someone is communicating, what’s called ‘empathetic listening’ is a specific type of listening that is a useful skill to hone actively work that will begin to impact your emotional intelligence.

Empathetic listening is the art of connecting to how a person is feeling when you’re listening to them. You can practice this by watching a clip of someone speaking and trying to note down how you think they’re feeling during the clip. Watch the video for a second time but this time concentrate on noting down the details of what they’re saying. Then, compare the difference between what you’ve written. This is a helpful exercise that helps to differentiate between what someone is saying and how they’re feeling which can help tune yourself into other people’s emotions when communicating with them.  

2. Improve empathy with self-reflection

Empathy is a broad brush that comprises the ability to understand and share someone’s feelings as well as take action to help others. There are several ways to develop empathy; oftentimes the best place to start (somewhat unexpectedly) is by taking time to self-reflect. When something happens that elicits an emotional response try to reflect on what happened and before, how you felt in the moment and what happened after. How did your feelings change or develop? How did you navigate the situation?

When reflecting in this way, it’s important to practice suspending judgement. Often we can treat ourselves more harshly than we might treat others. When reflecting on your feelings during a certain situation, try to do so without judgement. Don’t think of your thoughts or feelings as right or wrong; simply try to connect with how your emotions developed. When reflecting, try to also think about how someone else might try to engage or interact with you. How would their actions affect you in that moment? How might they be able to help? How do your emotions affect your actions, and how might that impact them?

By doing the above, you’re continually taking stock of how you feel in different situations and thus building your emotional awareness. Practicing withholding judgment, and thinking about how you affect others are all great steps in working on your empathy.

Developing emotional intelligence through reading

3. Read more fiction

Studies have shown that reading books with complex characters can help develop empathy. By frequently seeing a world through another’s perspective, we’re able to perceive their unique thoughts, feelings and motivations and over time train ourselves to be more sensitive to others’ perspectives. Neuroscientists have also found that reading regularly can improve your theory of mind and critical thinking skills as well. These are three core building blocks of emotional intelligence that can be improved through reading regularly.

4. Start journaling

A tried and tested technique for self-reflection, journaling allows you to be introspective, expressive, analytical and catalogue your feelings all at the same time. When journaling, try to recount your day being as introspective as possible when doing so. Reflect on your feelings and motivations throughout the day, and where possible, note down how your actions impacted others and how others affected you.

Regular journaling is a great way to improve self-awareness, which is another key aspect of emotional intelligence. The main barrier people have when journaling is being able to keep it up. Journaling requires diligence. Make sure to set aside time dedicated to journaling as regularly as you can to get the best out of it.

5. Take an emotional intelligence CPD course

The most effective way to understand what emotional intelligence is and learn the techniques for developing it is to take a certified emotional intelligence CPD training course. This is particularly useful for employees in senior or managerial positions to develop necessary leadership skills.

The CPD Certification Service host a range of certified courses that will offer you the insight and practical steps needed to improve your emotional intelligence in the workplace and in general. Our CPD Courses Catalogue has thousands of training courses, conferences and events, workshops and eLearning available from a variety of CPD providers, including many which can help with developing emotional intelligence.

We hope this article was helpful. If you are looking to become a CPD Provider, please contact our team to discuss your requirements in more detail. Alternatively, if you want to record your CPD, please go to the myCPD Portal where you can manage, track and log your learning in one simple place.

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